Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, February 15th to the 21st, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.
1. Thai Airways plans to transport first 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac on February 24th
Thai Airways is now preparing to air transport the first Covid-19 vaccination to be distributed for Thai people this Wednesday. Special cargo containers and a temperature-controlled device will be installed in the aircraft to maintain the best quality of the vaccine, following the authorized standards of the World Health Organization. The Airbus A350-900 aircraft will carry 200,000 doses from the Sinovac company in China and will be arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport at around 11:00 PM. The distribution is scheduled two or three days after their arrival.
2. Thai National Police announces two major drug busts in Phrae province, with 2,500 heroin bars and 8,000,000 meth pills confiscated
This was considered to be one of the largest drug arrests in Thailand since the beginning of 2021. Both cases were reported in Phrae province almost at the same period of time. A large number of 8,000,000 methamphetamine pills and 2,500 heroin bars were hidden in plastic sacks inside 10-wheeler trucks. Both truck drivers were also found to be likely hired by the same drug operators. Royal Thai Police also continue to investigate the case to track down more possible leads in order to find drug dealers in the smuggling business.
3. Thailand to welcome first group of foreign tourists from South Korea under golf quarantine campaign
A total of 41 South Korean golfers have arrived in Thailand last week to spend their 2-month vacation under golf quarantine in Nakhon Nayok and Chiang Mai. Although the campaign was collaboratively arranged between both Thai and South Korean tourism agencies, the number of tourists is still very limited for the campaign application. The selected tourists must go through certain requirements of Tourism Authorities of Thailand (TAT) and Thailand’s Public Health Ministry. It is estimated that more golfers in foreign countries will apply for golf quarantine in Thailand as it has not been yet offered anywhere else.
4. All Thai Cabinet ministers involved in no-confidence debate survive vote
After four days straight of a no-confidence debate in the Thai parliament since last Wednesday, all ten cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha, were, as expected by government analysts, given a majority vote of confidence on the last day of the debate last Saturday. The censure debate was conducted after oppositional parties had filed a request to the House Speaker last month. The ruling government was criticized and questioned for its alleged misuse of power and its slow response and mishandling of the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation. However, the outcome was not surprising to many as the government had also survived a similar debate last year despite several serious and intense accusations made against Prayut’s government.
5. Pro-democracy protesters stage peaceful “public censure debate” gatherings for two consecutive days at Thai parliament in Bangkok
Due to the censure debate, pro-democracy protesters staged demonstrations in front of Parliament for two consecutive days since last Friday to closely monitor the debate inside the parliament as well as to pressure the ruling government. The protests on both days remained peaceful but creative as many banners, signs, street art, and speeches were featured and highlighted at the gatherings. Although a large number of crowd control police were deployed at the Parliament as the rallies were considered illegal under the Emergency Decree, no clashes and encounters between both parties were reported on both days.
And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!